Being a project manager can be challenging. This is doubly true when you’re trying to manage a team distributed across multiple locations.
Whether you’ve been managing a distributed team for years or are about to start for the first time, it’s equally important to use premium-quality project management software to effectively manage distributed teams. Every provider out there offers different features— let’s take a look at the three most important project management software features for distributed teams.
1. Cloud-based communication
In order to include every team member in a meeting, distributed teams rely on online tools.
If your project management software includes, for example, an IP-telephony feature, you’ll be able to contact your team members no matter where they’re located because it lets you place calls via your internet connection.
This means you can connect with your distributed team members whenever you need to without having to consider the cost of international calls. When you’re able to connect with your team members around the world at your convenience, team communications and productivity can improve by 30%.
This also helps scattered team members connect with each other, thereby boosting their engagement and encouraging teamwork as one cohesive unit.
2. Automated workflows
As the project manager for a distributed team, you’ll already be facing increased challenges in terms of scheduling, resource management and allocation, and other hurdles. What if you could remove the risk of human error from at least a portion of your workflows?
By choosing software that lets you automate repetitive tasks, you can reap two major benefits. Firstly, as mentioned above, any automated workflows are now completed accurately, since bots tend to not make human mistakes, like forgetfulness or entry errors. Secondly, automating simple and repetitive workflows frees up human resources for more complex or creative tasks.
For example, tools like EDI (electronic data interchange) ensure that all of your paperwork is made digital and tracked by bots, meaning none of it can get lost or damaged. This frees up your people who would otherwise have to spend time individually scanning documents to be interchanged, double-checking that all necessary documents are present, making sure the papers haven’t been damaged, and so on.
Instead, your team members can devote their time to crafting creative solutions and delivering projects on time.
3. Company-wide accessibility
This is a feature that may not be top of mind for you, but its value is not to be overlooked.
To put it simply, all of your team members should be able to access and use your chosen software. You’ll want to avoid software that’s limited to use in particular countries, for example, as well as software that requires each user to have their own account.
The end goal should be for you to be the account administrator, and for everyone else in the team to use the same, office-wide platform through your account. This is called multi-tenant cloud software.
Multi-tenant software is perfectly suited to distributed teams because everyone is able to work on one platform under the same account, which generates a sense of overall unity. You’ll also be able to leave behind the days when you had either to send or track down the email with the most recently updated presentation file.
With multi-tenant features, a work platform becomes a virtual space where all notes, documents, and other work-related pieces can be kept. This makes your organizational and management work significantly smoother and easier.
Things to keep in mind
The three features we’ve discussed are some of the most important for a remote team’s project manager to look out for when considering a piece of software. Regardless of which other features a given platform offers, these should be your priority.
With that said, each team’s needs are different. monday.com’s Work OS offers a wide variety of features to suit any distributed team—or any organization, really— including the triple threat we discussed here in addition to real-time communication, diverse timeline views, automation recipes, and customizable workflows.